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Students completing a UNC-BEST lesson plan
Geology Majors in GEOL 412 test out their stratigraphic layers lesson plan with Smith Middle School students (2019).

What is UNC-BEST?

The UNC-BEST program allows undergraduate science majors to receive NC teaching licensure at the same time as they earn the undergraduate degrees.

Why be part of UNC-BEST?

Do you want to automatically qualify for a job when you graduate?  With UNC-BEST, you graduate with professional licensure at the same as you get your undergraduate degree!

Do you want to educate others about the environment? Schools need expert geoscientists: Geoscientific knowledge is essential to understanding the environmental challenges facing the next generation.  Use your passion and knowledge to make sure students are aware of Earth Science and how data is used to predict future conditions on Earth and (hopefully) inform public policy.

Are you planning on eventually going back to graduate school, or finding a job in environmental consulting or the oil industry? You will need to be able to effectively communicate with and educate your future colleagues, clients, or students.  A teaching job will help you develop these skills, and prepare for future careers.

UNC-Science EXPO 2019
Kelsey Woody tries out the Earth Science demo she created for GEOL 412 at the UNC Science Expo (2019).

Quick facts

  • Must major in Geological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Math, Chemistry, or Physics (BA or BS).
  • You will leave UNC with a professional degree: High School Comprehensive Science License, enabling you to teach any high school science course

Required coursework (in addition to the major) for the program

  • GEOL 412 (4cr): Principles and Methods of Teaching Earth Science, taught by Megan Plenge every other year.  Also counts as an upper level geoscience elective.
  • EDUC 689, EDUC 532, and EDUC 615 (3cr each): School of Education courses focusing on educational foundations, child/student development and general pedagogy
  • EDUC 593 (12cr): Student Teaching Internship
  • EDUC 601 (1cr): Student Teaching Seminar

More information

UNC BEST Program

Scholarships and funding opportunities

The NC Teaching Fellows Program provides forgivable loans of $8250/year for up to 4 years for students who teach in North Carolina public schools after graduation.

Please email Megan Plenge for more information.